Jennifer Kate Hudson (born September 12, 1981 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American singer and actress. She is both an Oscar and Grammy Award winner. She was one of the finalists on the third season of the reality/talent-search television series American Idol. Prior to American Idol, Hudson had worked as a singer and actor aboard cruise ships, but never had any formal musical training. Hudson auditioned for the third season of American Idol in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a member of the first group of semifinalists in the Semifinals.